International Non-Fiction authors to regale readers at DSC Jaipur Literature Festival

The sixth annual DSC Jaipur Literature Festival has begun from today i.e. 24th Jan, 2013, at Diggi Palace in Jaipur. This year 285 speakers would be attending the festival. Non-fiction has always been particularly strong at the Jaipur Literature Festival and this year it is completely outstanding.

The festival has numerous award winning authors like Nobel prize, Booker Prize and Sahitya Akademi Award, prominent winners like His Holiness Dalai Lama, Howard Jacobson, K Satchidanandan along with Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction, Frank Dikkoter on Mao, Wade Davis on Everest and Orlando Figes on Stalin’s purges, while Pulitzer winner Andrew Solomon will speak on his remarkable new book, Far From the Tree.

Three of the world’s most acclaimed artists will be in conversation in the session ‘The Artist’s Eye’ – Glen Lowry, the director of Museum of Modern Art in New York discusses the eye of the artist with three of the greatest eyes in modern art, Marc Quinn, William Kentridge , and with leading cultural theorist Homi Bhabha.

Nandan Nilekani will discuss Breakout Nations with Ruchir Sharma, author of this year’s bestselling book of non-fiction. Sharma argues that the astonishingly rapid growth over the last decade of the world’s celebrated emerging markets is coming to an end. China will soon slow, but its place will not necessarily be taken by Brazil, Russia or India. Ruchir Sharma shows how weaknesses and difficulties were often overlooked in the inflated expectations and emerging markets mania of the past decade and that India’s chance of economic success is no better than 50/50.

Other stand-out sessions include:

“The Global Shakespeare” – We look at how is it that Shakespeare, a sixteenth century Englishman, managed to write work that still resonates around the globe four hundred years later? Celebrated Shakespearian Christopher Ricks talks to Tim Supple, the director of the Indian Midsummer Night’s Dream and the leading cultural and literary theorist Homi Bhabha.

The Elephant Paradigm, Dragon Paradox. – Most authorities agree that the 21st century belongs to India and China, but beyond that consensus breaks down. Can India ever catch up with China? Will China fall apart due to its own unresolved contradictions? Peter Hessler, New York Timescorrespondent and author of the great Chinese Trilogy, River Town compares and contrasts the two countries with Gurcharan Das, author of India Unbound, in conversation with Daniel Kurtz-Phelan a former advisor to Hilary Clinton.

“Roots of Yoga” – Yoga has taken the world by storm and is one of India’s most universal exports. But how ancient, and how authentic, is its modern form as practiced in gyms around the globe? Sanskrit scholars David White, James Mallenson and Mark Singleton discuss authenticity and innovation in conversation with art historian Debra Diamond and historian of yoga Birad Rajaram Yajnik.

“Beyond the Khyber: Future of Afghanistan” – Western troops will finally leave Afghanistan next year after another failed intervention in that most untameable of countries. Leading experts on Afghanistan, Edward Girardet, Jason Burke and Lucy Morgan Edwards, all of whom have covered the country for many years, consider what may happen next with Faisal Devji

The Art of Biography” How do you pin a life to the page? Four leading biographers David Gilmour (Curzon, Kipling) Wade Davis (Mallory) Andrew Lycett (Ian Fleming, Kipling and Conan Doyle, John Zubrzycki (The Last Nizam of Hyderabad) and Pico Iyer (Graham Greene and the Dalai Lama) discuss techniques and literary obsessions.

“Dispatches As India experiences a non-fiction renaissance, four leading war correspondents describe the life of the journalist in a war zone, and talk about how such experiences can be transformed into works of literature. Jason Burke, author of the acclaimed 9/11 Wars, Anjan Sunderam, author of the eagerly-anticipated Stringer, Lucy Morgan Edwards, author of The Afghan Solution and Edward Giradet, author of Killing the Cranes, discuss the journey from reportage to literature with Madhu Trehan of Newslaundry.

Saving Face: Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy is an Academy Award and Emmy Award winning documentary filmmaker, named by Time Magazine in the annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.. Her recent films include ‘Saving Face’, ‘Transgenders: Pakistan’s Open Secret’and ‘Pakistan’s Taliban Generation’. She discusses her remarkable and award-winning body of work in conversation with Shoma Chaudhuri.

The Decline of America: Westerners and Resterners In his new book, Time To Start Thinking: America and the Spectre of Decline, Edward Luce argues that the US faces a world of rising new countries that will compete with it ever more fiercely as its own power is declining. He argues that in order to slow and improve this steady leakage of power, the US must change course internationally, economically and domestically. Ian Buruma. Peter Hessler and Frank Savage, the author of “The Savage Way” analyse Luce’s ideas in conversation with the author.

From Harvard we have Diana Eck, whose book India: A Sacred Geography has been one of the hits of the year, the philosopher Michael Sandel who brings his popular BBC Radio 4 series, “The Public Philosopher,” to Jaipur and the leading cultural theorist, Homi Bhabha. From Columbia comes the much-revered post-colonial and post-modern literary critic and thinker Gayatri Chakrovorty Spivak and from Oxford comes acclaimed authority on Eastern Europe, Timothy Garton Ash and the Shakespearian Christopher Ricks.

We have sessions on subjects as diverse as the history of miniature painting and war reporting, the Jewish novel, the 18th century sexual revolution, detective fiction and the literature of 9/11. We focus on new writing from Latin America and Iran, examine the economic prospects of India. We’ll look at the mixed legacy of the British Empire, the decline of America and the rise of China. Never before will any literary festival in India have such a rich feast laid before it. Its an extraordinary list and we’re thrilled to be presenting it. Jaipur is only getting better and better.

About The DSC Jaipur Literature Festival The DSC Jaipur Literature Festival is considered to be Asia’s leading literature event, celebrating national and international writers, and encompassing a range of activities including film, music and theatre. The festival has already hosted some of the best-known national and international writers including Orhan Pamuk, J.M. Coetzee, John Berendt, Kiran Desai, Christopher Hampton, Ian McEwan, Vikram Seth, Wole Soyinka, Salman Rushdie, Pico Iyer, Simon Schama, Thomas Keneally, Hanif Kureishi, Vikram Chandra, Anoushka Shankar, Michael Frayn, Stephen Frears, Alexander McCall Smith, Donna Tartt, Tina Brown, Shashi Tharoor, Mohammed Hanif, Paul Zacharia, among many others. The Directors of the DSC Jaipur Literature Festivals are William Dalrymple and Namita Gokhale and the festival is produced by Sanjoy K. Roy and Sheuli Sethi of Teamwork Productions. DSC Limited is the principal sponsor of the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival.

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